by Barry Meyer
Half shark. Half octopus. Half baked.
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If you’re not expecting much — and, I believe that if you’re a fan of these SyFy sharkbusters, you’re not — then you’re in luck! Sharktopus should please all the bad horror action gore geeks.
Like all their other (fallen) star-studded beast pics, this SyFy flick is filled with more cheese than a Pizza Hut stuffed crust cheese lover pizza. This time around they’ve corralled Eric Roberts (do these guys’ agents call SyFy to try and get their careers boosted. now that these beast-cheesers are so popular?) as the what-ever-happened-to? big name draw. Roberts plays a scientist who’s created a shark/octopus monster mash-up for the Coast Guard-like folks to try and help them curb the offshore drug smugglers. Naturally things go wrong and loads of people get squished and eaten by the behemoth beast.
This clearly isn’t quality cinema, and certainly the filmmakers aren’t aiming for such. But it does have its moments. The acting is earnest by most accounts, although not as hammy as a 50s sci-fi cheap-o. And that’s where the charm is. No one is really trying to be ironic or hammy — like in many of these flicks — even Eric Roberts is putting in an honest show. I’ve only watched parts of the other SyFy beast mash-ups (there was the one with Greg Brady, and one with Deddie — er, Deborah Gibson, and one with Tiffany… or where these all the same movie), But they all fell short. Not even a good bad performance to chuckle at.
The dialogue is loose and fast cheeseball (“They’re just boobs. They’re not gonna get up and dance or anything.”) but where Sharktopus works is in the sly visual humor, especially in the kill shots (the sharktopus often flips the victim up into its jaws, or flying through the air). The filmmakers understood that their FX were cheap looking, so, with the added cheeseball humor, Sharktopus is designed to make you groan with utter guilty pleasure. It’s no masterpiece, and I’ll probably never warch it again in my life, but it was fun while it lasted.
Barry Meyer Barry Meyer was born to the world as the first scientifically produced Cathode Tube baby. He’s a film critic, videographer, editor, and writer, residing in Jamestown, NY.
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